Aug. 5, 1788 Gettysburg Adams County Pennsylvania, USA
Apr. 5, 1868 Elyria Lorain County Ohio, USA
REV. JOHN MONTEITH was born August 5, 1788, at Gettysburg, Penn. His father, whose parents were natives of Dundee, Scotland, was an early settler in the wilds of western Pennsylvania, where the son was reared in a life of industry and plain farmer's toil. His mother was also a native of Dundee, Scotland, and from this parentage he inherited that hardy physical constitution, and those sturdy mental and spiritual traits that conspired to fit him for the heroic work that fell to his hands as a pioneer, and a lifelong educator and reformer. He graduated at Jefferson College, Penn., in 1813, and at Princeton Theological School in 1816. About this time an invitation was extended to him "to introduce the Gospel into the Territory of Michigan," to accept which offer he declined an appointment as professor in a Pennsylvania college. On Sunday afternoon, June 13, 1816, he preached the first English sermon that had ever been pronounced in Michigan, from the text Luke ii, 10. In May, 1817, Mr. Monteith was ordained in the Presbyterian Church at Princeton, N. J., Dr. Alexander delivering to him the charge. Returning to Detroit he entered upon the work with characteristic zeal, industry and personal sacrifice. He organized the Presbyterian Church at Monroe, and preached the first Protestant sermon in that place. The "University of Michigan," in point of fact simply a school, established in 1817, in a great measure owed its birth to Mr. Monteith, who had the office of president and no less than six professorships conferred upon him.
On June 7, 1820, he was married to Sarah Sophia Granger, of Portage, Ohio, who died in the autumn of the same year, while visiting her parents in Ohio. In 1821 he married, at Nahor, in the then wilds of northern Ohio, Miss Abigail Harris, and here his career in Detroit carne to an end. From that point he removed to New York State, to occupy the Chair of ancient languages in Hamilton College, in which position be remained eight years. Then for several years he followed academic labors at Cambridge, N. Y., and at Germantown, Penn., after which, in 1832, he came to Elyria, Ohio. "Here was the evident goal of his providential destiny. He bettered the town and the community by his educational labors and lectures. He bettered the Western Reserve by joining his hand with others in the establishment of churches, and Presbyteries, and colleges." He girded on the armor of a zealous and uncompromising anti-slavery champion, and fearlessly and conscientiously fought its battles. "When the clash of arms came, he felt that the beginning of the end was at hand; and when the red cloud of war passed beyond the horizon, he felt that the ultimate vision of his life was realized. * * * His joy was calm, dignified and silent."
In 1845 Mr. Monteith again resided in Michigan, ministering to the spiritual wants of the good people of Blissfield and Monroe until 1855, in which year he returned to Elyria, where he passed the remainder of his busy, useful life, dying April 5, 1868, in the eighty-first year of his age.
Rev. John Monteith was a fine specimen of manly physique; he was six feet tall, straight and muscular, his power of endurance being transmitted from the Scottish race from which he sprang. As a scholar he was accurate and learned, and though the scope of his culture was not wide, yet in the ancient languages and in French his proficiency was something remarkable for his day. Duty was the mainspring of all his actions, and fearlessly he performed it, as witness his heroic efforts to introduce the Gospel into undeveloped territories, making long, weary and ofttimes hazardous journeys in the prosecution of benevolent work.
(Source: Commemorative Biographical Records of the Counties of Huron and Lorain, Ohio; Chicago: J. H. Beers and Co., 1894, pp. 521-522.)
Inscription: SIDE 1: "MONTEITH / Elisabeth H. died Sept 21, (1841)* aged 11 years / Abby died Oct 3, (1838)* aged 12 (2)* years" SIDE 2: "Abigail wife of Rev. J. MONTEITH 1801-1880" SIDE 3: "Rev. John MONTEITH died April 5, 1868 aged 80 years" SIDE 4: "Arthur Aug (2
Note: headstone inscription & burial plot provided courtesy of Ian McGuire from Sept. 2003 Eagle Scout Project
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Born Gettysburg PA on 05 Aug 1788. Graduated from Jefferson College, Washington Co PA, class of 1813. Ordained 12 May 1817. Missionary, teacher and Presbyterian minister. From Biographical and Historical Catalogue of Washington and Jefferson College, ...(Read more) -
B. Morrow Added: Oct. 18, 2011